Wednesday 17 January 2018

Garda probe as teen's leg is broken in 'sickening GAA match attack'

Conor Cribben-Hayes (17) in hospital in Drogheda with his broken leg in a full cast.
Conor Cribben-Hayes (17) in hospital in Drogheda with his broken leg in a full cast.

Ryan Nugent

A teenager's sporting dreams have been shattered after he received a double leg break in an alleged assault during a juvenile GAA match.

Conor Cribben-Hayes (17), from Kildalkey, Co Meath, was allegedly stamped on repeatedly by an opposition player in a 12-person melee during a football match on Saturday evening.

It is understood a brawl broke out towards the end of an under-17 match between Cribben-Hayes' team Clann na nGael and Kells club Gael Colmcille, in Gaeltacht area Rathcairn.

Gardaí are investigating the alleged assault which took place at around 5.20pm.

Paramedics took the teenager by stretcher off the GAA grounds and to a neighbour's home.

An ambulance arrived on the scene shortly after 6.30pm and he was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

His father William contacted gardaí after the incident, and described the situation as "vicious and sickening".

"He's got two broken bones (in his right leg). To do that sort of damage is a motorbike accident, a horse landing on top of you or falling off a roof," Mr Hayes said.

"As a parent, it was the most vicious and sickening thing I've ever seen in my life in sport," he added.

According to Mr Hayes, the teenager was in so much pain yesterday morning that he could not be transported to the Santry Sports Clinic for specialist treatment. His plaster cast reaches all the way from the bottom of his foot to the top of his thigh.

Mr Hayes saw the event unfold, and said when the fight broke out, Conor tried pulling someone away and ended up on the ground before being held down and stamped on by another opponent.

"When Conor went on the ground, I was telling him to get up and get out of there," he said.

"I went to jump the fence and by the time I got over there, the fella had jumped on him at least five or six times."

The talented rugby and GAA star had aspirations of obtaining a sports scholarship in college next year, dreams which have now been shattered.

He faces a lengthy recovery spell, with his father saying they are now just hoping for a full recovery in the hope that he will be able to take to the field again.

Meath County Board did not wish to comment on the incident, but have insisted that a full investigation is being conducted by the Competitions Control Committee (CCC).

A spokesman for Conor's club, Clann na nGael - an amalgamation between Athboy and Rathcairn - said they were investigating the incident and would support any other investigations conducted into the situation. "Everyone in the club is very disappointed that this has happened to such a talented young player and we will be giving our full support to him and his family, as well as any other investigation that may be carried out in relation to the incident," he added.

Gael Colmcille were also contacted but did not wish to comment. It is understood they have contacted Clann na nGael and offered their best wishes to the teenager.

Irish Independent

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